This week, Kate writes about what it is like to face recovery one day at a time.
Take good care of yourself, and remember to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
Day by Day
You lose your life to gain a new one.
Working and beating this manipulative disease we get up, day after day.
Working to lose the voice that has been following you around for your entire life feels like trying to outrun a shadow in a thunderstorm.
Yet, we run.
Taking off in a sprint screaming we won’t, we can’t, live like this anymore.
Because one thing we know is that there is nothing romantic about this life. There is nothing to be envious of, no secret tricks about how we got here, no crowd wanted when our limbs go raw and eyes run dry. I didn’t ask for this.
But we get up day after day.
Running after the voice that says the message we crave to hear. That message is the one we’ve tried telling ourselves for years, through treatment centers, doctors appointments and ECG’s. It’s the one that’s never been fully transposed; right now all we can hear is the voice that says this is the only way to live.
But we get up day after day.
We want perpetual control. We want certainty. We want a way to deal with our emotions, the ones that make you want to run into the storm and give up. It’s easier to pretend to have control through this toxicity than to face those dark places.
And as we run, day after day, we’ve found that all those safety behaviours, all that control – was just a fabrication of our fears. All the rules we made, all the things we thought we had to do to stay safe were built off our fears. They were built off the lies that we told ourselves. They were built to protect us from life’s chaos.
But look back, look at the isolating chaos we’ve created, that is the real storm, worse than the one we sought to avoid initially. And now we realize that those fears were false, that there was no need for that control. Because life is going to hurt. And it’s going to rain, and when it does it may pour. But protecting yourself from that by living in a hole doesn’t keep the water out.
Yet once we figured this out we’re already so deep in and the storm was coming quickly. Leaving that shelter we’ve built means giving up all we know. It means that the world is completely different from what we originally thought. It means being vulnerable to the fact that you can get hurt, but living with the confidence that you can and will be able to get through those tough times.
Recovery is not and has never been about the object of our symptoms. That is a symptom of our control, it’s not the whole picture.
Because, day by day, as we lose our coping mechanisms we need to learn how to create the life that we thought we had. We realize that those fears tore our friends from us, led us to corrupt jobs and bad relationships – and now we have to learn to live in uncertainty.
It feels like floating in limbo. Never really knowing which way to go but hoping that one day you’ll end up on that side where the message is. You’re trying to build a completely new style of living, you’re switching everything you know, doing things that make you feel like you’re digging yourself into your own misery. Imagine having to go against every single instinct you have, every single moment of every single day. Because that is how you get the message. It’s by building your own. There is no way to live but one thing we can be certain about? The way we were living, the way that lead to the middle of storm? Was never the message that you intended to hear.
So day by day, we are jumping into the terrifying uncertainty that the new one we are chasing, is the one that will let us truly live.
so we will get up, day by day.